Wisconsin Annual Reporting

You did it. Your Wisconsin LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.

There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.

In Wisconsin, an LLC’s annual report includes some vital information about your business and helps the state keep its records updated regarding commercial activity within its borders. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

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What Is the Wisconsin Annual Report? Why Is It Important?

Consider an annual report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each Wisconsin business.

Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an annual report.

Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.

For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Wisconsin might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, being administratively dissolved.

Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. Anyone can find this information (including future clients and partners) by searching for your business name, so you want to update it regularly.

How Much Does the Wisconsin LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?

If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.

Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. If your LLC is domestic (formed within Wisconsin), each annual report only costs $25. Foreign entities (those formed outside the state), pay $80 per report instead.

Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Wisconsin

Your LLC will need to file an annual report once per year, but the due date depends on when you originally formed your business. For domestic LLCs, your report is due by the last day of the quarter during which you filed your Articles of Organization. Here are the due dates:

  • Q1 (January – March): March 31st
  • Q2 (April – June): June 30th
  • Q3 (July – September): September 30th
  • Q4 (October – December): December 31st

So, if you initially formed your LLC on November 5, 2018, you would need to file an annual report every year by December 31st.

What Happens if You Don’t File?

You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your annual report can yield some serious consequences.

There aren’t any late fees associated with the Wisconsin annual report (oddly enough, there is a financial penalty for corporations, but not for LLCs), but there’s a potentially worse penalty looming if you fail to file. Any outstanding reports will cause your LLC to lose its good standing with the state. And if you go one full year past your due date without filing, the state can administratively dissolve your LLC.

 

Required Information

Now it’s time for the gritty details, how to actually complete a Wisconsin annual report. It’s a good idea to gather the necessary information beforehand. Here’s what the form requires:

  • LLC name
  • Jurisdiction of formation
  • Registered agent name and office address
  • Principal office address
  • Name, title, and business address of each member or manager
  • Nature of the LLC’s business
  • Name, title, and signature of the LLC’s organizer

Got all that? You might know it off the top of your head. If not, it’s all fairly easy to find on your Articles of Organization or digital corporate record.

Filing Options

Whether you do all of your business electronically or you prefer to leave a paper trail, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions has a filing method for you.

Online Filing: From the Department of Financial Institutions’ homepage, hover over the “Corporations” tab and click “File an LLC or Corp Annual Report.” This will direct you to a page where you can enter your LLC name or ID number. Select your LLC and on the next page, click “File an Annual Report.” After you enter the necessary information, you can pay via credit or debit card, and you’re all set!

Filing by Mail: Download a hard copy annual report and fill it out. Then include a check and mail it to:

State of WI – Dept. of Financial Institutions

P.O. Box 93348

Milwaukee, WI 53293-0348

Filing In Person: If you live in Madison, you can also hand-deliver your form and payment to:

Department of Financial Institutions

Division of Corporate & Consumer Services

201 W. Washington Ave. – Suite 300

Madison, WI 53703

Does the State Send Reminders?

Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.

As your annual report deadline approaches, the state will send your registered agent a courtesy reminder to file. But we recommend setting your own series of reminders on your phone, in your planner, or anywhere else, just to make sure you don’t forget.

Conclusion

There you have it, everything you need to know about Wisconsin’s reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.

And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.


Frequently Asked Questions

About Filing the Wisconsin LLC Annual Report

Should I use an annual report service, hire an attorney, or prepare and file my own reports?

This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to keep track of your due dates and complete the entire report on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare and file your annual reports.

You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to prepare and file your annual reports, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.

I’ve heard the most about LegalZoom. Are they the best annual report service?

LegalZoom is the most well-known of all business services companies, thanks to its long track record and extensive advertising campaigns. That said, all of that brand power comes at a cost, as LegalZoom’s pricing and features don’t always compare advantageously to its competitors. While we do appreciate LegalZoom’s annual report filing service, it isn’t our top choice.

When is my annual report due each year?

This all depends on when you originally formed your Wisconsin LLC. Each LLC in this state must file an annual report by the final day of its anniversary quarter. Therefore, if you formed your LLC on July 10, you’ll need to file an annual report by September 30 of each subsequent year.

Does Wisconsin require LLCs to file initial reports?

In some states, LLCs are also required to file initial reports. These reports are typically quite similar to annual reports, with the difference being that an initial report either accompanies your formation documents or follows their filing within a couple of months.

In Wisconsin, there is no initial report requirement for LLCs. Instead, this state gathers all of the information it needs for your first year in business from your Articles of Organization filing.

What if I need more time to complete my annual report?

Wisconsin does not offer extensions for LLC annual reports. That said, the state does have a built-in grace period of one year before it will administratively dissolve an LLC for missing annual reports.

Where can I find more official information about Wisconsin’s LLC annual reporting requirements?

The state’s LLC annual report “Information and Instructions” document is an excellent place to start, as it includes three pages of helpful tips about filing Wisconsin LLC annual reports.

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